More than half of food tested by the U.S. government for pesticide residues last year showed detectable levels of pesticides, though most were within levels the government considers to be safe, according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA looked at fresh and processed fruits and vegetables as well as infant formula, apple juice, and other products.
Before allowing a pesticide to be used on a food commodity, the Environmental Protection Agency sets “tolerance levels,” for how much of a pesticide can remain in the food that reaches the consumer. The USDA’s sampling is designed to help ensure that pesticide residues are kept within those tolerance levels.
As has been the case with past analyses, the USDA said it did not test this past year for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and the world’s most widely used herbicide.